Under the guise of supposed performance tests, Google engineers took a day to play with space balloons.

Several days ago, several Google engineers and students from the nearby University of California, Santa Cruz got together in an empty field to see how Google’s new phone, the Nexus S, would perform nearly 20 miles above the earth’s surface.

Greg Klein, ballooning fan, Santa Cruz undergrad, and leader of the ragtag space-phone testing team, released seven large weather balloons tied to Styrofoam coolers containing the astronautical cellphones, along with various other equipment to monitor the phones’ activities.

Hours after floating out of sight, the coolers fell to earth, slowed ever so slightly by the small parachutes attached. A night of tiresome searching in tall grass later, the coolers and payloads were recovered, and the data collected, the results of which show that the phones continued functioning, even in the dark, lonely void of an uncaring universe.

Even the apps continued working as hoped, including SkyMaps, an Augmented Reality star-tracking application. Further data is still being analyzed, and the engineers say that further days off filled with science fair fun– sorry, “comprehensive tests”, are already being planned. Which leads me to the phrase I have been dying to say this entire article: Not only do we have to worry about Google stealing our WiFi, now we have to worry about…


Source: New Scientist

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